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Eating in Season: Winter Squash
By Kate Safin, East End Food Co-op


Winter squash provide a wide spectrum of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and macronutrients that offer comprehensive health benefits. Enjoy winter squash and boost your intake of fiber, omega-3s, vitamins A, C, K, B2, B6, B3; folate, pantothenic acid, and carotenoids. You can also get vitamin E from the seeds of winter squash, which can be lightly: Just scoop the seeds out, rinse them, and place them on a single layer on a cookie sheet and roast at 175 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Winter squash tends to be mild and sweet with bright orange or yellow flesh (thanks to their abundance of antioxidant carotenoids). Popular winter squash varieties include: butternut, acorn, kabocha, buttercup, blue hubbard, and delicata. Winter squash can be prepared in a variety of ways: baked, steamed, mashed, roasted, sautéed, even microwaved! They are delicious in soups, sauces, salads, and quick breads. Spaghetti squash can be used in place of pasta for a gluten-free and lower carbohydrate dish. Once roasted, the flesh of spaghetti squash separates into threads that resemble spaghetti (hence its name).

You can find these tasty and healthy seasonal delights at farmers markets and grocery stores. Select squash that are firm with glossy rinds and that feel heavy for their size. Whole winter squash can be stored for up to 6 months when they maintain a temperature range of 50-68 degrees, so you can stock up on these while they are in season and enjoy them for many months to come!

For a guide to winter squash and a list of recipes, visit www.eastendfood.coop



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